It's a long-shot, I know!
Ok, so I'm sat last night watching the last episode of One Born Every Minute, a programme I couldn't bear to even think about until at least 6 weeks after Bubba was born....the traumatic labour still too raw in my mind. I haven't written a detailed birth story as I felt like a complete wimp. I had not coped well with a situation that many women seem so in control of or at least didn't have that look in their eye that I recognised as my own experience. That is, until last night.
A girl called Sam writhing about on the bed shouting and screaming in pain probably made a lot of women laugh at her lack of control. Yeah it's sore love but there's no need to shout. I saw something quite different and when she said "please, somebody help me" it brought tears to my eyes as I had also said those very words.
Could it be that, for some of us, the pain coupled with total lack of progress is overwhelming? It's not that we have any less tolerance or control but the manner and devastating speed of the transitions during labour make it so much more painful?
I went into labour at 3am and right from the very first one my contractions were 3 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds. It was very exciting. I phoned the hospital just to forewarn them but was quite happy at home watching a film and having a bath. My waters broke and I went down to the labour ward. Family came to visit, I read a magazine and for the first 9 hours it was very, very sore but nothing I couldn't handle.
I believe that had I been left to get on with it then my body would have progressed at a more manageable speed and things would have been different. Instead, a nurse decided to examine me and try to 'walk my cervix forward'. The pain was beyond anything I can describe. My body fought against her hand and clamped down so hard I think I almost broke it. Blood everywhere. That moment traumatised me and I couldn't believe that inflicting that much pain could be of any use. And then they came. My contractions went from pain level 3 straight up to 10 within a matter of minutes. I fell to the floor, blood pouring out of me and crying out in pain. I went from 1cm to 7cm dilated within less than an hour. Everyone kept saying 'come on, calm down' and other such useful things but it was nothing I had any control of. It was another 14 hours before I finally had an epidural. I can't remember any of it apart from being on the floor in the hospital corridor begging for someone to help me. I was given all the drugs but they just made me sleepy in between contractions. Nothing touched the pain. Right before my c-section about 4 people did internal examinations and decided I had un-dilated (!!) back to 5cm....nature is a cruel bitch!
As if the whole thing hadn't been enough of an ordeal, my surgeon fainted whilst guddling about in my belly. Actually crashed to the floor taking a tray of instruments on the way past! Oh how we laughed...not!
And so I can finally allow myself to believe that perhaps my labour was particularly bad and I'm not completely pathetic after all. Still, it's not something I would do again, just in case. C-section please.....I'll be paying for my own room and won't forget the massive pants and paracetamol!!